Letter: Selling democracy
Wednesday 16 September 1998
Sir: Peter Bazalgette's piece on party political broadcasts ("Open the airwaves and let the tub-thumpers pay for it", 8 September) deserves a quick and dismissive response. He believes that parties - and I assume candidates - should be made to pay for airtime simply because party political broadcasts are often boring. Wittily he calls PPBs "Mogadon movies".
If Peter Bazalgette looks half a kilometre down the road he advocates he should see that it leads to the demise of democracy. The cost is simply gigantic, the inevitable Faustian bargain struck. Paying for airtime endangers democracy by ruling out candidates unwilling to repay donations with political or economic favour. The history remains to be written on just why Ronald Reagan was so obsessed with Nicaragua - surely not those wealthy backers with Nicaraguan interests?
Right now Al Gore could lose his shot at the presidency because of the Attorney General's proposed investigation into Democratic fund-raising activity in the Clinton/Gore re-election campaign two years ago.
Equally anti-democratic is the fact that the cost of purchasing television time hammers women and minorities, who generally have less access to huge sums of money.
Nor does party political broadcasting have to be Valium viewing - I didn't think the John Cleese one was so bad.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
- 2 Fifa corruption arrests: Nike reported to be 'multinational sportswear company' at centre of bribery claims over Brazil shirt deal
- 3 Facebook Messenger sends 'creepily' precise location data, as revealed by Marauders Map Chrome extension
- 4 Bahar Mustafa: Goldsmiths Students' Union diversity officer to keep her job after vote of no confidence petition fails
- 5 Photo of wedding guest proposing to girlfriend in front of bride and groom goes viral
Grace of Monaco film panned: Screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman as movie gets US debut
Big Brother contestant Aaron Frew removed from house for 'inappropriate behaviour' after flashing fellow contestants
Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
ASAP Rocky gives nauseating response to explicit Rita Ora rap: 'I'm not saying she's a terrible person'
San Andreas 3D, film review: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's disaster movie has clear fault lines
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote